Below, you will find a dialogue between Justin and Justina, two unusual-yet-similarly-named friends who should be familiar to New Leaf Journal readers.

Dialogue Introduction

We find our pair walking down a Brooklyn sidewalk, engaged in one of there many frivolous conversations. They are interrupted by another…


Unknown Girl (to Justin, at least): Arantxa? Is that you?
Justina: Marie!
Justin: Arantxa?
Marie: It’s been a while, how have you been?
Arantxa(?): I’m well, and you?
Marie: Same old, same old. Still writing.
Justin: Hold on. What’s going on here. Who’s Arantxa?
Marie: She is?
Arantxa(?): Me?
Justin: I thought you were Justina.

Cover of "What's-His-Name" by George Barr McCutcheon, clipped from Project Gutenberg.
It would have been better if the title was “Her” instead of “His,” but this was a more apt image that I expected to find on Project Gutenberg.

Arantxa(?) Justina(?): That’s right. I’m Justina. Haven’t we been over this before.
Marie: You still use Justina?
Arantxa/Justina: I do.
Justin: I was never told this!
Marie: By the way, I’m Marie. I went to high school with Arantxa.
Justin: Thank you for taking care of her.
Marie: She was no trouble at all.
Arantxa/Justina: I’m here! Who are you, my father?
Justin: Apparently not. I thought I named you. What do I know?
Marie: You never told the person who raised you about your name?
Justina/Arantxa: He never asked!
Justin: You ADMIT you never told me.

Explaining a Name

Justina/Arantxa: Fine…
Marie: She really did admit it.
Justin: So easily…
Marie: Did you just admit that he raised you too?
Justina: No! Whose side are you on!?
Marie: The truth’s.
Justin: I think we can get along.
Marie: I see something in you.
Justina/Arantxa: I’m sorry to break up your reunion!
Justin: You’re still there? Oh right, your name.
Justina/Arantxa: …
Marie: Should I take this?
Justina/Arantxa: No! Anyway, my real name is Arantxa. But no one can pronounce it. It was even worse when I tried to spell it. Somewhere around junior high I got tired of it and decided to go by something else.
Justin: Why Justina?
Marie: Probably because an unseen force impelled you to choose a name that would become confusing down the line.
Justin: My thoughts exactly…
Justina/Arantxa: You know I looked up to you in high school, but the more you agree with Justin the more I wonder…
Justin: Wait, you don’t look up to me?
Justina: Anyway, I liked Justina as a name. It definitely wasn’t because there was a cool older girl that I was jealous of who was named Justina.
Marie: Perish the thought!
Justin: I can’t believe that I’m not admired…
Marie: I respect you, at least.
Justin: Thank you.
Justina: Don’t encourage him!

It’s a Small World

Mystery Man: J-Shield!
Justin: Proton Von!? It’s a small world!
Proton Von: Clutch play man!
Justina: Hey Von.
Proton Von: What’s up Arantxa?
Justin: How did you know her name is Arantxa!?
Proton Von: She told me?
Justin: You practically just met him!
Arantxa: I swear I thought I mentioned it to you!
Marie: You look… familiar.
Proton Von: Hmm? Come to think of it…
Marie: Did you play baseball at…
Proton Von: Wait a second… what’s your last name?
Marie: Thomas.
Proton Von: That’s right!
Justin: Freddie!?
Proton Von: Poor guy. I still remember how he looked when I crushed that home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Justin: He was a true competitor.
Marie: …
Justina: Wait, what’s happening?

We Turn to Baseball

Marie: Remember when Freddie and the baseball team almost won that postseason baseball championship?
Justina: Vaguely. But I usually just zoned out when he talked about that stuff.
Justin: Wait you knew Freddie?
Justina: We were best friends.
Marie: Sometimes I feel bad for Freddie…
Justina: He is Marie’s brother. It was because of him that I was on the student government in my senior year.
Marie: His condition for helping… and yet it was somehow my job to force Justina into it.
Justin: Student government? This is quite a bit to process…
Proton Von: This is wild. Still remember that game.
Marie: Freddie said after – “That Proton Von was just too good.”
Justin: He really was.
Proton Von: Tell Freddie I respected him. He was a clutch player… too bad he was your only clutch player. Would have looked great playing defense behind me.
Marie: I think that last part would have stung…
Justin: Wait, Justina. Did you ever actually go to a game? Did we meet before?
Marie: Did you?
Justina: I think I went to a few. I remember falling asleep after one and Freddie walking me up.
Marie: …Oh right.. that was the championship…
Justin: I was there! Wait a second… I remember wondering how some girl in the stands fell asleep during such a clutch game!
Marie: The scales are falling from my eyes!
Justin: You had a Bob cut then?
Justina: …I did…
Proton Von: So I saw you too?
Justin: My head just exploded.
Justina: I’m glad I was asleep… that wasn’t about you, Proton.
Proton Von: I assumed.

Who is Justin?

Proton Von: Speaking of names, Justin, isn’t your full name “Justinian”?
Justinan: Indeed.
Justina: Hypocrite! You never told me that!
Marie: I mean…
Justinian: Is it really surprising?
Marie: My thoughts exactly.
Justina: Why are you two in sync!?
Justinian: Great minds?
Marie: Probably.
Justina: But yeah no, I’m not surprised at all. Barely worth mentioning.
Proton Von: Is anyone here busy? I was thinking about getting a bite to eat.
Justin: I’m down, nice weather – we can eat out.
Justina: It’s a little cold… but alright.
Marie: State of mind.
Justina: …
Justin: Please be my best friend instead of Justina?
Marie: Done.
Proton Von: No, cold is a thing. It’s actually cold. But I’m still in.
Marie: So much to catch up on. Aside, Freddie would have had a coronary all those years ago if he knew you were having a meal with Proton Von.
Justina: Huh? Why?
Marie: I feel bad for Freddie.
Justin: Me too.
Justina: You don’t even know Freddie!
Justin: Synergy.
Marie: That’s it.
Justina: …
Proton Von: He really was a clutch player…
Marie: Frederick isn’t dead!
Justina: His name is Frederick!? He never told me that! I’m going to call him later to yell at him!
Justin: …